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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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This topic is about the Insect Family Corydalidae

Hellgrammites are the vicious larvae of the Dobsonflies, some of the only trout stream insects which pose a biting threat to the angler. The pincers of the adult are even more frightening that the larva's, and they're aggressive enough to use them once in a while.

This family's life cycle does not create good dry fly opportunities, but the larvae may be eaten by trout year-round. They are a secret told only by stomach samples of well-fed trout.

Example specimens

Posts: 1
Gandoff on Mar 9, 2007March 9th, 2007, 2:02 pm EST
I have been fly fishing a lot over the past two years in the mountains of NC and Va. I have pumped the contents of many trout, and 2 out of 3 times, I find Hellgrammites in large brown trout, 18"+. perhaps they are not as numerous as caddis', but nether are crawfish, and wild trout like to eat them too!
As noted on several other replies, the warm bridge, and warm rocks, if you want to reasearch Hellgrammites, this is a good place to start.
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Mar 10, 2007March 10th, 2007, 3:23 am EST
Thanks for the insight!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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